After 14 months in Iraq from 2003-2004 my Unit, 3rd ACR, was deployed back to Iraq in 2005 to a northern city called Tal’Afar. Within days we were engaging in gun battles and hitting heavy amounts of improvised explosive devices (IED’s). On June 25, 2005 early in the morning hours our Unit conducted an operation in a heavily populated area known for insurgent activity.
As we entered the District of the city, gun shots rang out and I took the prone fighting position near an intersection and provided overwatch of a rooftop. Within seconds I felt a concussion ring through my body and was instantly paralyzed from the waist down and having a hard time breathing. My team came to my rescue pulling me to safety and administering first aid while calling for a medical evacuation.
After a 9-hour life saving surgery in Mosul Iraq, I was intubated and transferred to Germany for 48 hours and then to Walter Reed Hospital where I was in the ICU for several weeks. I had to lay flat for three months without moving. After a year in the hospital I was able to eventually get medically retired in 2007.
I was shot by a bullet that entered my right hip, traversed through my sacrum shattering it, then L5-L1 vertebrae crushing everything and then up through my left ribcage and puncturing my lung through and through ending up in my shoulder where it still is today.
After a little over a year, I attempted my passion for golf again, and found that I could swing without too much pain. After hard work and dedication rehabilitating, golf became a hobby for me mentally and physically that contributed to my ability to look forward to sports like I used to prior to my injury. The PGA is an incredibly special group of individuals that do great things for their communities and I’m here to support their mission.
I joined the U.S. Army on Feb 13, 2001 on the delayed entry program. As I was preparing myself for a four month long basic and advanced individual training, I witnessed on TV what would become a vastly different entry into the military than I expected. My military occupational specialty in combat arms and reconnaissance would land me right in the worst part of Iraq early 2003.
Why am I doing this?
Golfing has provided me with a way to continue my passion playing sports after my injury during my deployment to Iraq in 2005. I believe that the awareness Holes for Hope brings is honorable and a great mission.